OUR FIRST TIME IN LISBON, PORTUGAL
Before I go on with a commentary about exploring the great and historic city of Lisbon, I have to comment on our accommodation at the Hotel Portugal. It is located in the Bairro Alta district near the Chiado shopping area. We were very happy with the location of our hotel and it provided a very convenient base for walking tours. However, one of the most unique things about the refurbished hotel was the television in our room.
I have never before seen a television in a large circular mirror on the wall.
On our first full day in Lisbon, we did what we often do when visiting a city for the first time. We took some local tours to get the lay of the land (thanks Mike) and to try to scope out attractions and interesting sites for further exploration.
Our first excursion was on one of the old trolleys that ply the city. This one was operated by Yellow Bus Tours.
Lisbon is a vibrant city, both steeped in history and very much the modern capital of Portugal. For us, learning more about Lisbon’s rich history as a world powerhouse and exploration leader in the 15th Century was high on our agenda during our short stay.
For those of us who remember our history lessons in school, names like Ferdinand Magellan and Vasco da Gama are familiar. Lisbon is rich with historical references for those who wish to learn more about when Portugal was at the forefront of global exploration.
During our two day exploration, we visited the Praça do Comércio on the waterfront of the Tagus estuary, near the location from where these historic voyages set sail and returned with riches from around the world.
(For a short video scan of this plaza click on this link and make sure to expand the screen to get the best view.)
One of the most striking things about the urban architecture of Lisbon is the extensive use of tile in the construction of pedestrian byways and buildings.
Following a day of walking and riding around the city, we stopped at Restaurante Figus for some liquid sustenance and tapas.
More exploration of Lisbon to come on Day 7.